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Corkscrews and anchors

August 31, 2013

The trouble with having a bad experience aboard a boat is that the next day one is still there. I have dreamt before about the corkscrew action, but usually in the past it involved opening a classic wine, maybe a Chateau Petrus or the like, but never before have I dreamed of corkscrewing through water on a yacht, and I don’t like it.

Getting up so early to play tennis , it was almost like getting up before one has gone to bed, and with a brain going around in circles. Having to partner Mr Clipboard was a similar kind of nightmare. He who is famous for the failed mid court volley was deemed to be my partner for the day, to our joint chagrin. We both like to be on the opposite side so that when I win victory is sweet. It falls to neither of us naturally to have to encourage the other. Anyway, we overcame the adversity, which on this occasion comprised the Wingco and an amiable banker from Monaco, with whom I have played before but have been unable to name because he had a serious career, and, is still working. Such is the power of this Currencies Direct inspired column.

Mike the Banker, as I shall call him, feigned injury at the start, claiming he could not run because of, get this; “wearing the wrong shoes to play golf the other day”. Would you trust your money with such a chap? Neither would I. Serving like a man who had worn the wrong golf shoes the other day, we proceeded to rout our opponents in the first set before Mike found his err… feet and started serving like a man. It was a close run contest but in the end Clipboard and MOG junior held away and were able to claim boasting rights over a beer before lunch.

glass half full

That Nice Lady Decorator on a calmer day

With lunch some equanimity returned. We went to Auberge de Provence in Plascassier, an old favourite which we had somehow forgotten to frequent, run by old smoothie Patrick. He has a pleasant terrace and a slightly limited menu but the food is good. My king Prawns and St. Jacques was very good and the girls (Mrs Clipboard and that Nice Lady Decorator, both of whom we had graciously allowed to join us despite the presence of the Wingco, who does not always approve of women being invited to post tennis gatherings) both expressed enormous satisfaction at the Salad d’Auberge.

I was beginning to feel slightly closer to normal but a siesta brought back that corkscrew dream and I awoke groggy and disoriented before setting of to dinner with Barney Rubble lookalike Tony “I invented the Internet” Coombs and the flame haired beauty, Pat, who has the misfortune (which, to be fair, is not how he sees it) of being his wife.

Also at dinner, an excellent Rogon Josh, served beneath the stars overlooking the terrace upon which Tony promised to build a swimming pool several decades ago, were Gruff John and the lovely Anthea Buck. Gruff is an old sea dog, whom I would guess has sailed close to the wind for much of his life. He was telling us that he was once the owner of two anchors (rather than Antheas) and that, having decided to rid himself of one, took one down to the bins, where his neighbour promptly picked it up and gave it pride of place in his garden. I asked Gruff if it was a difficult decision as to which of his anchors with which to part company. In other words had he “weighed” up the pros and cons, and he had the good grace to laugh despite being unamused.

Chris France

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